Alumni Profile: Bill Michels
Bill Michels is a speaker, intellect, and writer. He currently consults global supply firms as President
of ADR North America, a division of ADR International.
Michels attended Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) to begin his higher education, which ultimately led him to Rochester Institute of Technology to earn a BS in Business Administration and Baldwin Wallace College for an MBA.
Between speaking and writing engagements, Michels continues to lead ADR North America through nearly two decades of consistent growth, earning consistent accolades in the process. Michels’ distinguished career as a consultant and senior manager at SCM Corporation, Smith Corona Typewriters, Durkee Famous Foods, Boise Cascade, Campbell Soup Company and Vlasic Foods has made him well known in the purchasing and operations management community and the food and pharmaceutical industries.
1. Why did you choose to attend TC3 before RIT and Baldwin Wallace College? Did you participate in any clubs or activities while at the college?
TC3 offered a very affordable opportunity for me to start my college experience and build a foundation that has helped through out my professional career and life. The TC3 credits fully transferred and RIT’s extension campus at TC3 offered me a rare opportunity to complete my BS degree and achieve my MBA at BW. In addition, I met the love of my life and wife Linda at TC3. We will be celebrating our 40th anniversary this year.
While at TC3, I was the Student Body President at an exciting time in the evolution of the college. We moved from a temporary location in Groton, NY to a permanent building in Dryden, NY. I take great pleasure in seeing the growth in the college and I know what the SUNY Community College program means to students and their futures.
2. What sparked your initial interest in business and international markets?
When I went to TC3 to pursue a degree in Business Administration, I knew that I wanted a career in manufacturing and business. Upon graduation form TC3 I started a job as a Materials Management Trainee with Smith Corona. Today I am considered an expert in Supply Chain Management having authored the book Transform Your Supply Chain; Releasing Value in Business. I have been a key note speaker for several industry and Supply Chain conferences and published over 300 articles on World Class Supply Chain Management.
3. Can you explain what your goals and responsibilities are as a purchasing processes consultant?
We diagnose a company’s Purchasing and Supply Chain disciplines making recommendations for transformational change. Normally our project results in organizational, process, systems, and people development changes. The work is varied and changes every day. It is typical for us to improve cost from 25 to 40%. Our best record in one company was to reduce cost $400,000,000 on $1 billion dollar expenditure. We also run a training and development practices and I have seen people grow in their careers
4. What is a typical day like for you as President of ADR North America?
It is typical to work with clients in automotive, aerospace, chemical, construction, energy, food, pharmaceutical, electronics and packaging. There are always challenges. The work has provided me the opportunity to work in about 35 countries with about 300 companies learning different business practices.
This has been a great career; I have worked for some of the world’s best companies, traveled the globe, learned about many cultures and learned a great deal about business all the while making a very good income.
5. Overall, how did your college education help prepare you for life and your career?
The professors that were part of my early education set the foundation and prism that I view the world with. It has served me well throughout my career and I have been able to augment this foundation with experience.
6. What advice do you have to share with SUNY students?
Your college education will help you throughout your life and career. Your SUNY experience is the start of a journey of learning that will never stop. Your career is yours to manage. Anything is possible!